The Latest: Tropical Storm Bonnie has slowed down, for now


CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on a tropical disturbance off the coast of South Carolina (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

Tropical Storm Bonnie has not moved much during the past few hours but it is expected to pick up some speed Saturday night.

The National Hurricane Center says the storm, located about 135 miles from Charleston, continues to produce rain across coastal South Carolina making for a wet Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Forecasters detected 40 mph winds in the storm Saturday night, making it the season’s second-named tropical storm, four days before the official start of hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean.

Forecasters say Bonnie will increase to a speed of about 9 mph Saturday night with a gradual weakening on Sunday as the system nears the coast. Bonnie is expected to move onshore south of Charleston sometime Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Savannah River to Little River Inlet South Carolina and forecasters say an isolated tornado or two will be possible late Saturday and early Sunday over the immediate coastal region from central South Carolina through southern North Carolina.

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4:45 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Bonnie has formed off South Carolina, strengthening from a tropical depression.

Forecasters detected 40 mph winds in the storm Saturday afternoon, making it the season’s second-named tropical storm, four days before the official start of hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean.

The storm was about 125 miles from Charleston and moving toward the coast at 10 mph.

Forecasters expect Bonnie to move onshore south of Charleston sometime Sunday morning, then turn northeast and slowly dissipate as it moves along the coast of the Carolinas over the rest of the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Heavy rains have already begun falling along the South Carolina coast. Forecasters say the worst of the rain and winds are ahead of the center of the tropical storm.

No evacuations have been ordered.

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2:15 p.m.

Rain is moving into the South Carolina coast as a tropical depression continues to move toward shore.

The National Hurricane Center said the depression was about 150 miles from Charleston on Saturday afternoon, moving toward the coast at 13 mph. Forecasters say there still are several hours for the depression to get winds of at least 39 mph and become Tropical Storm Bonnie.

Tropical storm warnings are up for the entire South Carolina coast. No evacuations have been ordered.

Beaches were open Saturday morning with lifeguards warning of rough surf. But they cleared out as showers started to move in around noon.

Forecasters say the depression will move near Charleston on Sunday morning, then slowly move northeast — bringing rain along the coast of the Carolinas over the rest of the Memorial Day weekend.

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10:15 a.m.

Tropical storm warnings are up all along the South Carolina coast as a tropical depression moves toward shore.

The National Hurricane Center says there is a small window Saturday for the depression to get winds of at least 39 mph and become Tropical Storm Bonnie. That is what prompted the warnings, first issued Friday.

Forecasters say several inches of rain could fall along the South Carolina and North Carolina coasts as the low pressure system nears shore late Saturday, then moves northeast along the coast over the long Memorial Day weekend.

No evacuations have been ordered. Most beaches along the coast remain open, with lifeguards warning swimmers to be careful of rip currents that could pull them out to deeper water.